Friday, 21 October 2011 13:26
We, the undersigned, are members of the Board of Directors of the Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District, a 21-year old organization representing commercial property owners and office and retail tenants in the Village of Great Neck Plaza. Each of us currently or in the past have owned commercial property or a business in Great Neck Plaza, and several of us live in Great Neck. Over the past several years, all of us have voiced concerns about rising property taxes and the impact they have on business. Now, the Great Neck community is being asked to vote on a 20+ million bond for the expansion and renovation of the main library branch.
Whether or not our library needs expansion in today’s digital age is a question to be debated in other forums and for the community to decide on October 25. It is of interest to note that in many communities across the country, libraries are finding new uses for existing space as they downsize their book collections and expand their digital collections. Some are even making Kindles and Nooks available with requested books downloaded onto the devices. The books remain available on the devices for a specified amount of time before they become inaccessible. Innovative. Conservation of space. Forward thinking about the next generations of library users.
Regarding the Great Neck Library bond, what we are concerned with is that with the economy still so uncertain, with unemployment still hovering above 9 percent and no real expectation that it will change anytime soon, we are being asked to take on another added tax burden, no matter how “small” the proponents of the library bond state the additional tax will be. An increase is an increase, and as such continues to put an added burden on shopkeepers and commercial property owners already overburdened with stifling taxes.
Additionally, what we do not know is what, if any, added costs will be incurred as a result of having to relocate the main branch to a new site during the two years of construction.
It is time for the library, and all our taxing authorities, to become creative, innovative, and bold and find ways to put a stop to tax increases. If work needs to be done, find ways to offset the tax increase with savings in other operational areas. Without a halt or actual tax reductions, commercial property assessments will continue to decline, which only places even greater tax burdens on homeowners.
Remember to vote on the library bond on October 25.
Bruce Bent, President
Jay Corn, Vice President, Property Owner Board Member
Jeff Moss, Treasurer, Merchant Board Member
Peter Andreasian, Property Owner Board Member
Robert Huhem, Property Owner Board Member
Michael Lamoretti, Property Owner Board Member
Fred Simon, Merchant Board Member